As the latest weapon in its digital arms race with Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is focusing its attention on elevating its returns policy with the introduction of Mobile Express Returns – an industry-first experience that combines the retailer’s more than 4,700 locations with its app to make returning an item fast and easy.
"The new simplified returns process will be available starting in early November for items sold and shipped by Walmart.com, followed by store purchases in early 2018,” Erin Hulliberger, media relations for the Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart, told Grocery Headquarters. “Any items that you can typically return at Walmart, such as grocery, are eligible, subject to our regular restrictions.”
The retailer is also working to create a similar streamlined returns process for items sold by third-party sellers on Walmart.com.
“We know that returning an item and waiting for a refund, especially for a product purchased online, isn’t always seamless, so we’ve completely transformed the process for our customers – whether they are shopping in stores or at Walmart.com,” says Daniel Eckert, SVP, Walmart Services and Digital Acceleration, Walmart U.S. “By leveraging our physical stores and the Walmart app, we’re changing the returns game in ways that only Walmart can do. Throughout the year, we’ve added features to our app to make it an even more powerful, time-saving tool for our customers shopping online and in our stores; Mobile Express Returns is our latest enhancement.”
Using Mobile Express Returns, customers can complete the returns process in just two simple steps:
1. Initiate the Return: Using the Walmart App, consumers can select the Walmart transaction and item(s) to return and follow the prompts to start the return process.
2. Finish the Return at the Store: At the store, shoppers can fast-track through the line via the Mobile Express Lane at the Customer Service Desk. After that, customers need only scan the QR code displayed on the card reader with the Walmart app, and then hand the item to the associate.
Refunds will be credited to customers’ payment account as soon as the next day, and they will no longer have to send off their product and wait days for an online return to be credited.
Additionally, as early as December, customers returning select items will see an option in the Walmart app allowing them to instantly receive their refund without even making a trip to the store to physically return the item. This offer will initially be available on select household items, such as shampoo and color cosmetics, with other items to be added over time.